You're waiting in your doctor's office, and your appointment was for two hours ago. You've read all the doctor's soiled magazines, and your blood pressure is moving you into stroke land. Well, chill out. Here's the medicine the doctor ordered: Pray to Blessed Pedro Tarres y Claret for patience.

Padre Tarres, a medical doctor himself, was born in 1905 near Barcelona, Spain, became associated with the Oratory of St Philip Neri and traveled extensively as a lay missionary, sharing the Gospel with young people on the streets.

He received a medical degree in 1936 and opened a clinic in Barcelona for the poor, whom he charged no fee. For this miracle alone, he should be canonized.

The Spanish Civil War began that year and raged until 1939. A million died from wounds, disease or starvation. In Barcelona, it was open season on Catholics, and many were killed.

Tarres went underground, but he was found and drafted into the army, where his medical skills were needed. He served on the front lines for eight months. While working with the wounded and dying, he realized it wasn't sufficient to treat bodies alone. He wished to become a priest.

After the war, he entered the seminary and was ordained in 1942. In 1944, Padre Tarres returned to Barcelona to work full time with the young, the sick and the poor. He had become a doctor of souls as well as bodies.

In 1950, diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, he died at age 45 in the clinic he had founded.

Patient petitions

Patients and penitents would not let him stay dead. They petitioned Rome with prayers asking that their priest-doctor be numbered among the saints.

In 2004, Padre Tarres was beatified. Pope John Paul II told the beatification crowd that Padre Tarres is an example for doctors "because he loved his patients as people, helping them to get well or to bear the pain," and is also a model for priests "as a man with an undivided heart and a tireless commitment to the faithful."

There was much rejoicing in Barcelona that night. What's more, we now we have somebody to pray to for patience as we await our turn in the doctor's waiting room.

Father Gilhooley is the author of "Reflections on the Sunday Gospels," available at www.wlp or (800) 566-6150.